Does car insurance cover electrical problems?
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UPDATED: Oct 19, 2021
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- Comprehensive car insurance may cover electrical repair work depending on the circumstances surrounding the damage
- Wear and tear might be covered under special mechanical breakdown insurance coverage
- The value of auto liability insurance should not be ignored when worried about a vehicle’s performance on the road
A smooth ride is all most drivers want. Since a car is made up of a number of intricate mechanical parts, a perfect ride is not always possible. Parts and components eventually wear down and certain troubles should be expected at some point.
The second the check engine light illuminates on the dashboard, a driver may hope the issue is nothing too serious. Concerns may increase when operational malfunctions arise.
When the malfunctions are with the electrical system, the vehicle should be checked out by a professional as soon as possible. Because you’re putting yourself, your car, and other drivers at risk.
If you have an accident and your car is not drivable at that time, it will need to be towed away for repairs. If this happens while driving on public roads or highways, then there may also be other drivers involved in accidents who could file claims against you and even charge you for their medical bills. This can lead to serious financial problems if you don’t know what to do next.
So, getting your electrical system malfunctions checked out as soon as possible could reduce future expensive repair costs and possible accident claims that will bring about additional costs.
Signs that an electrical system is faltering include:
- The car hesitates, sputters, or stalls
- Headlights dim unexpectedly
- The battery displays corrosion
And there are more problems that could arise, which is why checking out the electrical system is so important. Of course, unavoidable costs come with any type of inspection and repair work.
So, will auto insurance cover the costs associated with repairing electrical problems? The short answer is, “it depends.”
The type of coverage options drivers purchase combined with the circumstances associated with the claim contributes to whether or not the insurance company pays.
Procuring the most comprehensive insurance policy available will assist with covering the widest range of problems and will offer broader coverage. That said, the electrical issue must fall under a “covered peril” category and be outside any explicitly stated exclusions, and is unlikely to be covered under collision coverage.
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Common vs. Not-So-Common Circumstances
When wires, batteries, spark plugs, alternators, and other electrical and mechanical components falter due to age or wear and tear, a standard auto insurance policy won’t cover the loss.
Insurance mostly protects against mishaps and unexpected calamities. Routine maintenance is not covered under standard policies.
What if the not-always-common, but not entirely rare, instances of squirrels or rats chewing up the electrical wiring in a car?
Rodents and other creatures may choose to make a home in a parked car. While temporarily residing in the vehicle, these animals are prone to chew on, and ruin wiring.
A driver who purchased comprehensive coverage might discover the insurance company will pay out on the rodent-inflicted loss.
Comprehensive coverage pays for damage inflicted on a vehicle due to a great many unexpected circumstances not involving an accident.
- A vandal tore out the wiring
- A giant rock fell off a hill, hit the car, and wrecked electrical components
- Massive flooding impacted the electrical system
Terrible events of this nature occur, and filing a claim under comprehensive insurance could very well cover the repairs to the electrical system if such or similar incidents occur. Granted, comprehensive insurance does come with a deductible.
One way to save money on auto insurance is to request a higher deductible. Those who go the route of comparison shopping often find excellent deals on insurance policies, which is why making comparisons of quotes is so important.
Picking and choosing a high or low deductible is up to the shopper.
Paying the deductible first before insurance coverage kicks in is how things work.
An insurance settlement is, ultimately, contingent on how the insurance company decides on the claim.
Certain instances are more clear-cut than others.
The most clear-cut example of an auto insurance company denying a claim would be when the driver simply did not buy the right insurance.
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Acquiring the Right Coverage
When auto insurance is mandated by law, the mandate generally focuses on auto liability insurance. Auto liability insurance covers damages a negligent driver inflicts on others.
So, if the electrical system in an at-fault driver’s car is ruined due to an accident, auto liability won’t cover the damages. Auto liability probably would cover electrical system repairs to the innocent party’s car.
In no-fault states, personal injury protection won’t pay for repair bills directly. Payment for lost wages due to injury in an accident could, conceivably, be used to pay for the repairs.
Likely, collision insurance is the coverage category tapped for payment to self-inflicted damages to a vehicle. The collision insurance add-on is “self-protection” coverage for an at-fault driver.
A driver who damages his/her car due to negligence files a claim under collision coverage provided he/she purchased collision insurance. As with comprehensive coverage, collision insurance is not mandatory.
When in the market for auto insurance, drivers need to seriously think about how much insurance is proper and also about potential risks. Persons buying auto insurance for the first time are not the ones who should think about these things.
Even someone who has carried a particular auto policy for several years should periodically reevaluate coverage. Doing so decreases the likelihood of holding the wrong policy and maintaining inadequate coverage.
Exploring Other Coverage Plans
Certain specialty coverage plans might be appropriate for those worried about electrical problems. Mechanical breakdown insurance (MBI) is designed to cover repairs on a new vehicle. Drivers must realize the coverage parameters for MBI insurance are narrow.
Still, access to possible coverage is better than none at all. This is truer when comparison shopping reveals excellent prices on MIB coverage.
The Overlooked Liability Component
While liability insurance does not cover mechanical problems, the presence of strong liability coverage when concerned about operational issues may help.
Since electrical systems factor into the safe operation of a vehicle, auto liability coverage does come into play with some electrical and mechanical failures.
A vehicle displaying electrical issues may not necessarily be safe on the road. A failing alternator could eventually die. A disabled vehicle on a highway creates dangers, and dangers create the potential for an accident.
Those who are found at-fault for an accident turn to their liability coverage for financial protection. Drivers benefit from understanding accidents may occur for any number of reasons. Unexpected problems with the vehicle could contribute to an accident.
Would it not be best to acquire the most comprehensive insurance prior to a calamity than after the fact? Comparison shop right now to find coverage for the best rate possible.